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Emerald Buying Tips

When choosing an Emerald, the most important value factor to consider is color. The vivid green color of an emerald is so prized that visible inclusions are accepted in these Gems in return for the incomparable color. As a general rule the more vivacious the green, the more valuable the emerald.

Since emeralds naturally occur with inclusions, you should make sure that fissures and inclusions do not go too deep into the stone such that it might be weakened enough to break if it were hit accidentally.


The Origin of Emerald

In the ancient times, emeralds were mined in Egypt, Austria and present-day Afghanistan. Later Colombia became one of the most popular sources of fine emeralds. Other origins of fine emeralds include Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Russia. The African nations Zambia, Zimbabwe and Brazil in particular have a good reputation for fine emeralds. The stones from Zambia are particularly famous for the beautiful, deep emerald green color with good transparency. The color of these gems is darker than the Colombian gems, and often has a fine, blue undertone. The stones from Zimbabwe have an intense green color with a delicate yellowish-green hue. The gems from Brazil are only next to the much celebrated Colombian greens. Brazil also mothers some rare emeralds such as emerald cat’s eyes and the star emerald with a six spoke star.

Treatment & Enhancement
The basic truth about emerald gems is that they are almost always treated. Emeralds typically have inclusions, there are also minute surface reaching breaks that are filled with natural ‘oils’ like Canada balsam or Cedar Wood oil to fill-up the breaks and enhance the look of the emerald gemstone by ‘softening’ the visibility of these natural flaws in emerald gems.

Emerald Care
The fissures and inclusions that are characteristic of emerald are traditionally filled with oil to minimize their impact. You should avoid cleaning emerald with hot soapy water or steam and never clean an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner because this oil could be removed or damaged, damaging the beauty of the stone. Never use harsh detergents and or any cleaning solutions that contain petroleum distillates. Avoid soaking your emerald gems and jewelry in water for long, and only use something like an old soft toothbrush (without toothpaste). A warm moist cloth may also be used to clean emerald jewelry.

Emerald in History
One of the most beautiful women in history, Cleopatra, had a love affair with these precious gemstones -- a testament to the allure of emeralds. Emeralds are the most precious and highly celebrated of gemstones. These gems come in many hues of green and bluish green, but emeralds are best known for their lush green color. The green color of this gemstone is so intensely vivid that an emerald is one of the few gemstones to have a color named after it -- Emerald Green. Pliny the Elder, a writer from the ancient times eulogized the emerald in just 3 words that speak volumes, “Nothing greens greener”, he wrote.

Emerald gets its name from the Greek word -- “smarados” which is further derived from the French word “esmeralde”, all of which essentially stand for the color green. One of the most ancient gemstones known to mankind, the emerald has been treasured for at least 4,000 years by different cultures the world over. The ancient scriptures of the Hindu religion, the Vedas, eulogized these precious gems for their mental and physical healing properties. In Islamic religion, emeralds are sanctified. The Islamic texts talk of heaven’s garden as carpeted with emeralds, and the famous ‘Mogul Emerald’ weighing in at a gargantuan 217.8 carats, has prayer texts inscribed on one side and floral engravings on the other. In ancient Egypt, mummies were buried with an emerald around their neck as an emblem of eternal youth. According to the Catholic Church, green is the most intrinsic of liturgical colors. Emeralds were highly cherished by royals of the ancient times, not only Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, but Shah Jahan, the emperor of the Mogul Empire, Emperor Jahangir of the Mogul Empire, and Empress Farah of Iran, to name a few.

In the ancient times, emeralds were believed to possess healing powers. The vivid green color of emerald epitomizes life, verdure and springtime, when life blooms. This lively color has also been associated with endurance and constancy in love. In the ancient Roman times, the color green was associated with Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.

Emerald is the birthstone for those born in May and the zodiac sign Taurus. Emerald is anniversary gift for the 20th and the 35th wedding anniversary.

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